Friday, January 27, 2012

Shoegasm!



Pink suede pumps-fun and flirty, enough said!




This pair of shoes for some reason just speaks to me...They're interesting and they bring a new dimension to heels

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blue Goose Cantina


In Texas, Mexican restaurants are almost as plentiful as Starbucks. There are a few different types of Mexican restaurants that you can eat at: Tex Mex, southwestern, and Mexican. They are all categorized as Mexican, but each have their own flavors and styles of food to offer.

Blue Goose is one of Dallas' most tasty Tex Mex restaurants. Each restaurant has a fun and casual atmosphere; they are great places to meet up with friends, have a great meal and just hang out. Their Mini Mexican Tacos are great to share and perfect as a whole meal if you're grabbing a quick bite or are not too hungry. They use fresh ingredients and good quality meats for each of their dishes. I have never had a bad meal at Blue Goose; everything that I've tried there so far has been delicious.

For more information about Blue Goose, check them out here

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kush of Denton


I guess a year out of college is a little late for me to stumble onto the Hookah Bar scene. Oh well. I actually had not stepped into a college bar, coincidentally for exactly a year between my graduation and going to Kush last May. (and now you know how behind I am on my blogging-yeesh!)

I first heard about the Hookah trend hitting America while I was in high school (I knew about it as a middle eastern thing for a while but I did not know that it had come over here until then). I never really had the desire to try Hookah, not because there's anything wrong with it, it just never really appealed to me.

I went with a group of friends to celebrate a birthday at Kush back in May. Being that it was at a (very Americanized) Hookah bar, I decided, why not try it. Though the atmosphere at Kush is not super tranquil like Hookah bars should be, I could see how smoking hookah in a quieter atmosphere with friends would be very relaxing and enjoyable.

I'd prefer going to a more traditional Hookah bar next time as the party, college atmosphere really does nothing for me anymore. With that said, Kush was a cool college Hookah Bar; check them out here if you'd like to know more.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shoegasm!




I love the colors on this pair of heels; it would really bring a neutral outfit to life...perfect for spring and summer.





I love the lilac in these Louboutins. They would add such a fun pop to any outfit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Israel: Mysticism, Synagogues, and Timeless Nature

Another neat part about visiting Israel, besides seeing ruins, is seeing old synagogues that are still daily houses of prayer today. Where better to go then to Tzvat? Tzvat is one of the four holiest cities in Israel and is the center of Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah. This is real Kabbalah, not what Britney, Madonna, and Demi practice in LA, but Kabbalah that no one but the wisest and most learned Jewish men are allowed to study. As this is one of the holiest Jewish cities, you do have to be respectful of that while walking around and especially while walking into the synagogues there. Cover your shoulders, your chest, and do not wear shorts.

Once we were covered up, we went in to the Blue Synagogue. One of the oldest and most famous synagogues in Tsvat. There are beautiful depictions of biblical stories on the walls of this synagogue and is designed so that the pulpit (stage) where the Rabbi leads prayer is in the center of the synagogue and everyone sits in pews around it.








After taking in Tzvat, we went over to the Tel Dan nature reserve, which I really loved. Tel Dan is an archaeological site where you can tour the excavation as well as take a light hike, following the river through the beautiful scenery. The excavation gives a really interesting look at how people made their homes and made their lives, and the beautiful backdrop made it even more real and easy to picture.






Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What defines you is your priorities in life

Again, I posted this on my other blog, Becoming the You, but I wanted to post it here too

Patti Stanger~Millionaire Matchmaker

Though Patti uses this in reference to finding love, the quote is really all about life and being ourselves. We always want people to think the best of us, but how can they do that if all we care about and concentrate on are the material and superficial aspects of life? There are other ways to show our desire and love for life than just money, success, and being on top. Though our passions may lend to these eventually, our passions should be our priorities, not being rich and being on top. As Patti also says, leading with your "business foot" gets you no where. People don't want to hear your brag about how well your business is doing or how much money you're making. That makes you look boring, self centered, and one dimensional. Talk about things that interest you, focus on your passions and make happiness a priority in life. Success will follow and you may find yourself in a better place all together.

I think that since moving out, I have really begun to make myself and my happiness a priority in life. I have also come to realize that although caring about your friends and others is a really great thing, it can take a lot out of you. I am still working on finding a balance between caring for others and caring for myself because sometimes I go overboard and forget that I need to be my number 1 priority...My health, my happiness, and my passions. To some, this may seem very self centered, but to me, it's making more and more sense. How can I be a good person if I can't be happy with myself? I think it's really a balance of priorities and making sure that the material and the superficial don't out do the things that make you happy. I work a lot of overtime at work, but if I have social plans, or plans for some me time, I don't let the over time get in the way. Money is great and all, but money does not equal happiness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Music Monday


Check out Brandi Carlile's upcoming shows here

At Noisetrade, download free music from Rosie Thomas, Jess Penner,

Check out NeedToBreathe's upcoming shows here

You can preorder Tyrone Wells' new album, Where We Meet, here

Download John McLaughlin and Sara Bareilles' new song, Summer is Over on iTunes

Check out Matthew Perryman Jones' upcoming shows here

Check out Mark Broussard's upcoming shows here

The top 10 tracks for free download on Tweet for a Track:
  1. Uraltalk-NeverShoutNever
  2. My Friend Jane-NeverShoutNever
  3. I Wish You Were Mine-IAMMEDIC
  4. Damn Straight-Eatmewhileimhot!
  5. Smelyalata-NeverShoutNever
  6. Kiss of a Bullet-Diane Vickers
  7. Fallin'-Russell Hitchcock
  8. Dare4Distance-NeverShoutNever
  9. Paper and Pen-Rocky Loves Emily
  10. Make Way-Sara Mitaru
At Spin, check out the 25 Must Hear Winter Albums,

Check out Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors' upcoming tour dates here

You can download a free copy of Suite 709's new EP, Keys here

You can download Chapel and Brooke Waggoner's new single, Parker's Chapel here

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Squash, Chickpea, and Red Lentil Stew


Squash stew is a fantastic and filling dish. It's savory and you can also make it sweeter or spicier depending on your tastes. It's a great way to get protein, fiber, and vitamins all in one dish. I was battling a really bad cold when I made this dish and it was a great way to get my nutrients in one simple dish.


From EatingWell: February/March 2006

Modeled on North African stews, this aromatic vegetarian main course can be served over brown rice or steamed spinach.

8 servings / POINTS per serving: 6 / Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 8 hours (including the 1-hour quick-soak for chickpeas)

Ingredients
· 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
· 2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash, (see Note) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
· 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
· 1 large onion, chopped
· 1 cup red lentils
· 4 cups vegetable broth
· 2 tablespoons tomato paste
· 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
· 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon saffron, (see Note)
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
· 1/4 cup lime juice
· 1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
· 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Preparation
1. Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.
2. Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.
3. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 1/2 hours.
4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
Nutrition
Per serving : 294 Calories; 7 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 48 g Carbohydrates; 14 g Protein; 11 g Fiber; 578 mg Sodium; 1029 mg Potassium

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving / Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1 vegetable, 1.5 lean meat

Tips & Notes
· Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
· Notes: Kabocha is a squash with a green-streaked rind and tender, sweet orange flesh. An average kabocha weighs two to three pounds.
· Considered the world's most expensive spice, saffron contributes a pungent flavor and intense yellow color. It is sold in threads and powdered form.

for more fun recipes, check out my other blog, Becoming the You

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shoegasm!



Ever since I borrowed this pair of Michael Kors from my friend, I've been craving a pair of my own. They're very comfortable and go with almost anything.



These platforms are really cute and would be perfect with a sundress or jeans...I love the rusty red color of them-a great pop to any outfit

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sorry I'm not sorry, but I would really appreciate it if Target employees would stop trying to rip me off

I guess I should start this off by saying that i LOVE Target..it's pretty much my favorite place to shop, it has everything and they have decent prices most of the time...There is one thing; however, that really bugs me about Target..maybe it's just the Target that I go to, but ugh it really irks me.

Whenever I go shopping and I can use coupons, I will. I am by no means an extreme couponer, but like most people, I like to save money whenever I can. Not only does Target accept coupons, they also will give you $.05 off of your total for every reusable bag that you use to bag your purchases. I'm obsessed with reusable bags...I take them everywhere, I use them everywhere...I think it's a great way to reduce the use of plastic bag waste and help the environment.

So, I'm not exactly sure if the training is off, or if the people behind the register just don't care, but the past few times that I've gone to Target, they've tried to skip all or some of my coupons, and they have not scanned for my reusable bags. I try to be really nice and just remind them about the skipped coupons and the bags by asking them if they had done it instead of telling them, but all i get is eye rolls and sighs...which is kind of a tell tale sign that they did it on purpose and they got caught.

It's just annoying...just do your job, scan the coupons, scan for the bags...you don't work off of commission, so the money I save does not affect your paycheck.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Music Monday


On Noisetrade, grab free music downloads from Paper Route, Nettwerk,

At Spin, download a free metal mixtape, download a free song from Twilight Sad here,

Listen to and grab a free download of Sean Fournier's new song, All I'll Ever Need here

Check out Caitlin Canty's upcoming shows here

Grab some free acoustic downloads from Matthew Mayfield here

The top 10 tracks for free download on Tweet for a Track

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dedication takes a lifetime, but dreams only last for a night.

I posted this up on Becoming the You, but I wanted to share it over here too


This quote is from All Time Low's song, Stay Awake. We all have dreams about what we're going to do and who we're going to be as we grow up. We have this wonderful picture in our head that includes our dream career, love life, success, family, but just dreaming and thinking about these things are not enough. In order to get the life we want and become who we want to be, we have to dedicate ourselves to working hard to get there. We cannot expect things just to happen out of thin air...that one day I'll just wake up and be skinny, or I'll wake up with a boyfriend. No, that's not going to happen. I have to work out and eat healthily to lose weight. I have to put myself out there, date some douche bags, and find the man of my dreams. If we really want these fabulous lives that we deserve, we have to put our heart and soul and all into everything we do. One day, we'll get those things that we want, but we will never get them if we don't dedicate ourselves to making those dreams become a reality.

So I have been thinking...about making a vision board...they've been "featured" on Jerseylicious and 2 Broke Girls, but I really think they are a good idea. Basically, you get a posterboard and you cut out pictures of things that you want to work for and words of inspiration to keep you on track. It reminds you that you need to work hard for what you want, and it's a great way to creatively display your hopes, dreams, and goals.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Shoegasm!




I love a great looking pair of flats...I'm kind of picky about my flats because it's so easy for them to look too juvenile or too old lady. This pair of Fossil's is a great looking, neutral flat, that would be perfect for work or a quiet night out when I don't feel like being tall.




I really love these platform wedges. They're perfect for going out and I think they give off a sweety yet sexy edge.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Enchanted

A few weeks ago, I watched Disney's Enchanted again. I loved the movie the first time I saw it, but watching it again just a few years later, I saw something else in the movie. Yes, the movie is about true love, but it's also about making your own fairy tale ending instead of looking to live the ones that have already been told. We don't need to settle for something because it's what we've been told is expected of us, or because it's the "right" thing to do. No one dictates what how we live our lives, who we fall in love with, or when. Our lives are not stories that are already written out for us to live word for word; our lives are are pages that we write as we live.

It would be great to live a fairy tale and live happily ever after, but I'd rather make my own instead of living a fictional life that's already been written and had a movie made about it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

“Beauty isn’t judged by the size of your jeans"

From Jack Barakat of All Time Low (a band that if you have not checked out, you really should)

I guess this is really wildly appropriate for me to post on New Year's Day as the concept of this quote is always in the back of my mind. I want to be that perfect girl...not the chunky, sometimes awkward and quirky one that I am. No lies, I was talking to a friend of mine the other night and called myself a beached whale lying on my bed...what a gross thing to say about anyone, and how can I even say that I respect myself if can say that about myself and then laugh? I always say that I know that there is more to me than my weight (and being real, I am not super fat, but I'm not thin...I'm slightly overweight, but I'm active and I'm TRYING...which is more than a lot of people, thinner than myself even, can say)

Instead, I am going to really focus...for real this time, on myself...on keeping myself happy and doing things that make me happy. Being happy will make me even more beautiful than I already am; hopefully self satisfaction and pride will help that shine through to others. I don't need to be crazy with diets and trying to be perfect because when it all falls apart, maybe I put on some weight, or I don't have time to put on my makeup or dress well...I want to make sure that my friends or the guy who I'm dating see and appreciate the beauty within.

There's more to all of us than "the size of our jeans"...and just as "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" says..."Girls grow cold as men grow old and we all lose our charm in the end" beauty and looks aren't forever, but substance and happiness do last and having or not having those can make or break even the most superficially beautiful person.